There is a bullet still lodged in Rowe's body, his father says.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A man wanted as a suspect in the killing of a Youngstown police officer Tuesday is also a suspect in the shooting of a West Side man earlier in the day.
Martin Louis Koliser Jr., 31, shot Donell J. Rowe, 23, of Salt Springs Road, about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Casaloma Gardens bar on Mahoning Avenue, Rowe's friends and family say.
Rowe was in critical condition in St. Elizabeth Health Center. A judge has issued a warrant for Koliser's arrest in the attempted killing of Rowe.
Police also have identified Koliser as the prime suspect in the shooting death of Patrol Officer Michael Hartzell, 26, about 2:19 a.m. in front of the old Master's Uniform shop on Federal Plaza West.
Hartzell was investigating the Rowe shooting.
Julian Daatadeen, a friend of Rowe's, said he went to Casaloma to pick up Rowe about midnight. Koliser was at the bar, Daatadeen said.
Rowe, Koliser, Daatadeen and another man began to walk out of the bar together, Daatadeen said. Rowe then turned to the other man in the group and asked him if he was all right.
Koliser cursed at Rowe, and the two began to argue, Daatadeen said. Koliser then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Rowe's stomach, he said.
The other man stepped in between Rowe and Koliser to end the dispute.
Outside the bar, Koliser offered to shake Rowe's hand. Rowe refused, and Koliser pulled out his gun again and shot Rowe in the chest, Daatadeen said.
"I started yelling, 'Call 911, my friend just got shot in the chest,'" he said. "I was in shock. I can't believe this guy just shot my friend."
Koliser got into a two-door gray car and left, Daatadeen said.
Later, Hartzell came to the hospital and talked to Daatadeen and Jonah Ortiz, Rowe's housemate, about the shooting.
Youngstown Police Chief Bob Bush said Hartzell was on the way to the police station to drop off reports related to the Rowe shooting when he made a traffic stop in front of the uniform shop. Hartzell called for a license plate check on a gray Lincoln Town Car.
Bush said the check didn't come back "hot," meaning it wasn't stolen. Hartzell was then shot in the head and chest while seated in his cruiser, police said. He was taken to St. Elizabeth, where he died a short time later, the chief said.
Both Daatadeen and Ortiz said they had seen Koliser at Casaloma Gardens several times in the past, but that they were not friendly with him.
Larry Allen, Rowe's father, said Koliser's bullet pierced Rowe's liver and kidney and lodged in the muscles in his back. Doctors are not sure if they will be able to remove the bullet, Allen said.
He noted that he believes his son will be OK.
"I don't know what I'd do if he was going to die," Daatadeen said. "All I can do is pray to God."
Rowe is the single father of two daughters, ages 3 and 18 months. Allen said Rowe had spent nine months in jail for a fight in Struthers.